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Harvesting Live Foods from Local Waterways


Crabby
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Hey folks,

I've been thinking about feeding some live foods to my tanks, such as daphnia, cyclops, or some type of worm. But I live next to a river - so couldn't I just harvest some from there instead of culturing my own? Now I'm not sure if it's legal or ethical, or whether it's even remotely easy to do. I've seen fish and shrimp thriving in the river, so they must be eating some sort of good live food, and I want in on that 😉. How would someone go about doing that? And is there a danger in introducing live food that has not been grown in a monitored environment?

Lastly, could I potentially do the same with algae?

Cheers,

Crabby

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I feed my betta with daphnia that originates from a lake we have at the house (so private property, non flowing). So that I don't have to keep going to the lake I keep some in a small container - I don't need many for 1 fish anyway and it is fairly easy to keep, though I can't keep it alive indoors in the summer, but then it is plentiful in the lake(s) anyway here? I doubt daphnia or similar do well with moving water (like a river) though! It would be worth trying with a fine net to see if there are any there though! Don't use tap water though, use water from an existing tank or collect rain water, river water etc. You may be lucky enough in Australia that you can culture in a bucket outside all year round though your problem is more likely too be heat than cold, daphnia don't like it too warm!

Algae should be easy enough to produce in a bucket in a shaded area I would think and you could keep the daphnia in the same bucket, probably all year if it doesn't get too cold enough to where water may freeze? I feed my daphnia a mix of spirulina (algae) and yeast!

Here is an old general video on daphnia,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbfc30nw1PQ

and a video on keeping daphnia,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4h6kx5GlSk

I don't know whether it is legal in Australia if taking from a river/pond on public land but if you aren't too greedy and taking some for setting up your own breeding culture I doubt there could be many people that would mind that?  But you need to find out first if there is any in there anyway? You will need a very fine net though!

Simon

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've set up a bucket for mosquito larvae (and whatever else wants to live in it) outside in partial shade. No food to be found yet, although my cat still insists on drinking the water 🙂. She found her way into a bucket with a very low dilution of meds the other day, and has been trying to drink my water when acclimating new fish... just glad she hasn't slurped one yet! I haven't been able to find anything in the river so will just stick to my trusty bucket. 

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I seem to be able to keep daphnia indoors for 4-6 weeks and then it crashes, threw last lot away this week, though you shouldn't have this problem outside. A friend tried the outside bucket a while ago and he got bloodworms in his, no idea how they got there, but he was well pleased!

Freinds coming next weekend so hopefully there are still daphnia alive in the lakes, though it has suddenly turned cold here so will have to wait and see?

If your local fish shop sells daphnia live food then you could buy some and put that in the bucket. You should use old tank water to change half the water every now and again and yeast is very very cheap as food if you get daphnia, not sure about mosquito larvae though? 

I hope you get something for/in the bucket soon, good luck!

Simon

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Wow, your friend is pretty lucky! Sadly none of my local stores (there are quite a few) sell live food, but I have found some mosquito larvae in a pot in the backyard! It must have collected water the last time it rained, so I think I’m going to tip some of that water into my bucket with the larvae. Otherwise it could just stay there I guess, and I could use the bucket for water changes again. Now I just need a small shrimp net to catch them.

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You don't want to breed mozzies, so harvest regularly.

Add some leaf litter into your bucket and eventually bloodworms can be found too.

 

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As JayC says, keep harvesting them, but on the plus side you should get them constantly in your bucket if they are around that area. We have that here as we have lakes (no flow) and so there are loads in summer and I saw one on the inside of a window just a couple of days ago so they are still around here even in winter. I have even had them appear in the small container that the daphnia are kept in indoors. If they are the same as ours they get freakishly big considering they turn into something so small but bertie the betta gets so excited chasing them when they are put in his tank. Keep them well harvested as per JayC!

If you can think of somewhere with permanently still water nearby it may be worth seeing if there is daphnia in there, a park or reservoir,  or a neighbour or friend with a pond in their garden etc, as long as it is ok to take from it. The daphnia breed prolifically so you don't need much to start a breeding programme?

Simon 

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Yeah once I have a net I’ll harvest regularly. Mozzies suck. Also thx for that bloodworms tip, that’s awesome! I don’t think I’ll have a problem with leaf litter after last night... flooding and leaves everywhere, hail damage to stuff outside, and electricity is down for 24 hours. Hoping my tanks will be okay. And I’ll get to a local lake soon and find some daphnia I think.

Also Simon... Bertie the betta is the best name 😁

Edited by Crabby
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I hope everything is well once the power comes back on and that it isn't off for long?

You have to be fast to catch mosquito larvae, they dart down to the bottom of the bucket when they feel threatened (as soon as the water is disturbed by the net) and if there is gunk on the bottom you won't be able to find them.

Simon

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